US: Chris Kluwe quits blog because of anti-equal marriage editorial

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

NFL player, Chris Kluwe, has quit his blog at an online daily newspaper, due to an editorial published by the site’s editors which, he said, expressed an anti-equal marriage stance going against the political neutrality the site claimed to have.

The Minnesota Vikings punter, and equal marriage advocate, had announced that he would stop blogging for Pioneer Press, the online form of the St Paul, Minnesota, printed newspaper, of the same name, and in a final post said that he did so because the site published an editorial which he said was anti-equal marriage.

He tweeted on Monday saying: “As promised, my last article with the Pioneer Press. I can’t say I enjoy having to post something like this.

His post on the site’s blog said that it claimed political neutrality, yet the piece he referred to made it clear that the paper was encouraging people to vote yes on a constitutional amendment which would define marriage as specifically between one man and one woman, in the state constitution. He said:

“In their recent editorial the editorial board of the Pioneer Press claimed to present a neutral view of both sides of the marriage amendment.

“This is a lie.” He continued:

“To be clear, I have no problem with the editorial board urging people to vote yes. That is their decision to make, their opinion to have, and no one can (nor should) take that away. My problem is the attempted masking of that opinion, of disguising their intent – in short, my problem is with lying.”

The article addressed the site’s editorial board directly, saying:

“You have made your endorsement, gentlemen. You chose your side. What you did not choose, what you refused to face, was the courage to stand for your convictions, to attach your names to the position your actions claimed. That is why I will no longer associate with you, why I decline to give you page views and ad revenue any longer.

“The only reason I’m posting this piece here, and not somewhere else, is because I said I would, and I believe that one’s word is not something to be given lightly.”

Mr Kluwe also addresses an apology published by the editors of the site, and an acknowledgment that they had failed “to deliver what we had meant to”, saying that he would still quit the blog.

He recently made the headlines when he defended Brendon Ayanbadejo, a player for the Baltimore Ravens, against a  call from Delegate Emmett C Burns Jr, to reprimand Mr Ayanbadejo, who recorded a video for a gay rights advocacy group last October.

Mr Kluwe, who campaigns for Minnesotans for Equality, a pro-equal marriage group, has been very vocal about his support for equal marriage, and has spoken at length in the media about it.